Not many games made with Game Maker are this bold – to create a Legend Of Zelda style action-adventure with RPG elements and make it 3D. Sakisa (the creator of this game and many others including Infinite War and the Crimelife trilogy) succeeded with Mythology for the most part, but not without some missteps along the way.
You play as Timaeus, a boy who lost his parents to Hades, on a quest to get them back. The story is interesting enough, and the fact that it is based on Greek mythology makes exploring the game a bit more interesting than the now-standard Tolkien-esque setting. After the charming (yet dark) intro, the game thrusts you into a sea-monster dodging minigame right away, without warning. That kind of ticked me off cause I wasn’t ready. The collision-detection seems a bit iffy at times where I’d get hit even when I am out of the sea-monster’s reach, but nothing too horrid.
The 3D graphics and animations look alright but rather dated. The cartoony aesthetic itself is beautiful though. The music is okay, nothing too memorable but it certainly helped keep the tone for all the different parts of the game. The sound effects are also quite cartoony but fit in thanks to the aesthetic. The game’s overall presentation is pretty good.
After the sea-monster incident (you will encounter a few more minigames like this later, be forewarned) you arrive on the shores of a island, near a town. This is where the game really starts. The HUD is clean and unobtrusive yet tells you what you need to know, thankfully. There is also a minimap although I haven’t gotten much use out of it. The game also has signs all over the place in the starting town to teach you the basics which should help ease beginners in. You will find the world a bit empty feeling, mostly due to the low number of NPCs in the towns. NPCs all say the same thing too, repeating the same lines over and over. They also refuse to use capital I’s when referring to themselves, which bugs me. Sometimes, the dialogue is a bit awkward and unrealistic sounding as well.
The game uses autosaving and save points (at statues) which may irk some players who want more control. After I find a sword, do a tiny quest for an old lady and find a hidden shield, I can enter the first dungeon, a cave. But first, I must hit chickens! Hitting chickens with swords is fun! Anyway, this brings me to my next point – the controls. The controls are not as tight as they could be (I wish attack was the left mouse button!). The worst part about the controls is the fact that “E” is used for both attacking and interacting with people and objects, so every time you wish to talk to someone, you have to slap them with a weapon, almost like a talkative serial killer.
The dungeons are fun for the most part besides the frustrating platforming areas which annoy me to heck! As well, the monsters are a bit stupid and charge at you like zombies. Combat feels a bit awkward as you can’t seem to do much movement while swinging your sword, although hitting chickens and bats is still quite satisfying. The game also sometimes uses puzzles to break up the pace, which are usually not that complicated but they help prevent too much hack and slash. The game also uses RPG style levelling which I quite like.
Now for the big picture: the game is quite stable (no crashes and minimal bugs that I have seen) and it has an average sized main campaign. The difficulty curve is pretty good and balanced. Loading times are short. In addition, you can unlock a bonus mode, “Arena” after you beat the game. I haven’t tried it so I won’t say much other than the fact that it probably helps up the replay value. All in all, it’s not a perfect adventure but it’s worth a try – and it is free of course! If you are a fan of The Legend Of Zelda series, you will most likely enjoy Mythology.
Available here: http://sandbox.yoyogames.com/games/180001-mythology
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Nathan. He prefers his last name not to be known. He’s probably a high-class superspy, but we don’t mind. For a temporary amount of time, he is the editor of Indiegraph. He’s our point man for interviews, and occasionally he takes a blowtorch to a game to see whether it measures up to his standards. He runs Gamesbydesign, an IndieGraph affliate site dedicated to game design articles. You can email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/VGR_Reviews.